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Elena Kukanova - Caranthir.jpeg
"Caranthir" by Elena Kukanova
Biographical Information
Other names"the Dark"
Morifinwë (Q, fn),
Carnistir (Q, mn)
LocationTirion; Thargelion (Dor Caranthir)
AffiliationOath of Fëanor
LanguageQuenya and Sindarin
Birthafter Y.T. 1190 and before Y.T. 1497
DeathF.A. 506
Second Kinslaying: Menegroth
HouseHouse of Fëanor
ParentageFëanor & Nerdanel
SiblingsMaedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Curufin, Amrod and Amras
Physical Description
Hair colorDark
GalleryImages of Caranthir

Caranthir, the fourth of the Sons of Fëanor, was also the harshest and the quickest to anger. He was known as "Caranthir the Dark".


[edit] History

The Wife of Caranthir. Art by Marya Filatova

As the other Sons of Fëanor, Caranthir was bound by the Oath of Fëanor to recover his father's Silmarils, which had been stolen by the Dark Lord Morgoth. This oath took the Noldor to Middle-earth near the end of the First Age.[2] When the Noldor presented themselves to Thingol for first time, some of the House of Finarfin reached first the king, who gave his permission to the Noldor to dwell in some free lands, as he considered himself Lord of Beleriand. Maedhros laught at Thingol's claims, but Caranthir felt angry and dispised the children of Finarfin. Maedhros rebuked him, but division between Noldor increased.[3]

The people of Caranthir went to the furthermost East Beleriand, reaching Ered Luin, being the first Noldor who encountered the Dwarves. Despite Caranthir despised the ugly Dwarves, they allied with them, as both peoples were interested on handcraft and fighting Morgoth. Thanks to this alliance, all the trading that came to Beleriand from the Dwarves came first to Caranthir's hands, getting great wealth.[3] Caranthir's realm was in Thargelion, and was sometimes called Dor Caranthir ("Caranthir's Land"). His abode was on the shores of Lake Helevorn. [4]

In F.A. 375, Caranthir rescued Haleth and her people, the Haladin, as they were besieged by Orcs. When he saw the valor of Men, he offered the Haladin a fiefdom in his lands to the North. However Haleth, wanting her people to serve no lord, thanked him but removed to the Forest of Brethil.[5]

In the Dagor Bragollach, Caranthir was forced to retreat and joined the remnant of his people to the scattered folk Amrod and Amras. They fled to the south and maintained a watch upon Amon Ereb, aided by the Laegil.[6]

In F.A. 463, the Easterling Ulfang led his people over the Blue Mountains and swore allegiance to Maedhros. They were given land in Lothlann and became subjects of Caranthir.

In F.A. 472, the disaster of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad ("Battle of Unnumbered Tears") occurred, caused by the betrayal of the people of Ulfang.

In F.A. 505, he perished along with his brothers Celegorm and Curufin during the Second Kinslaying, the attack by the Sons of Fëanor on Menegroth to recover a Silmaril from King Dior Eluchíl of Doriath.

[edit] Etymology

Caranthir is the Sindarinized version of his name Carnistir ("Red-face"), being the compound of caran + thir.[7]

[edit] Names

Caranthir's father-name was Morifinwë ("Dark Finwë"), as he was black-haired as his grandfather. The short version of the name was Moryo.[8]

His mother-name was Carnistir ("Red-face"). Although he was not a redhead like his mother (but dark brown haired), he had the ruddy complexion of her.[8]

[edit] Genealogy

b. Y.T.
d. Y.T. 1170
d. Y.T. 1495
b. Y.T.
b. Y.T.
Y.T. 1169 - 1497
b. Y.T.
Y.T. 1190 - F.A. 456
b. Y.T.
b. Y.T. 1230
d. F.A. 587
b. Y.T.
d. F.A. 506
d. F.A. 506
d. F.A. 506
d. F.A. 538
d. F.A. 538
d. S.A. 1697

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, chapter called "The Nauglafring", he was called Cranthor, while in the early version of the Quenta Silmarillion, found in The Lost Road and Other Writings, he was named Cranthir.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Notes", p. 318 (note 7)
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of Men into the West"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, "From The Shibboleth of Fëanor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 41, July 2000, p. 10
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", "The names of the Sons of Fëanor", p. 353